The Romantics - National Breakout
With the array of ready-made meals that are currently available in
the frozen foods section of your grocery store, its easy to forget that you
can just make a ham sandwich for lunch and still be wildly pleased. Ham and
bread have long enjoyed a modest compatibility, and if you add cheese to the
mix, then you've got a sandwich which by its very nature satisfies the eater.
There's also something pure and elementally agreeable about NATIONAL
BREAKOUT, the 1980 release by the ROMANTICS. Simply, the band has taken
rock, and put it into this album, to form an album that seriously sincerely
rocks. Man oh man does this album rock, and that is a point which I do not
wish to understate.
Happily, this album blasts out of the gate with its first song,
"Tomboy". It doesn't even seem to concern a boisterous and energetic girl
with boyish behavior so much as it deals with a guy who can't seem to
understand her . Some people might enjoy how much it sounds like
"Footloose", the song Kenny Loggins made enormously famous four years later.
There could be an album made of songs out there that all have the name
"Tomboy", and this one would get put on the "A" side. "Forever Yours" comes
second, with a simple chorus that undoubtedly will relate and appeal to many.
It fluently repeats: I don't want to change your mind/think it over, take
you time/I never felt this way before/and I'm forever yours. Track number
four, "New Cover Story" starts out slowly, slyly directing the listener's
mind off of the song and onto a different subject entirely. However, once
the listener focuses their attention back to the music, they'll find they've
been tapping their hands against the table all along, and might even end up
humming it later in the day.
The 5th song "A Night Like This" rocks fairly hard and definitely has
a pleasing guitar. Although it might not stand out as excellent every time
you listen to it, someday you will hear it "A Night Like This" on A Night
Like That, and it'll seem unbeatable at the time. "National Breakout"
follows, and not only serves as the album's namesake, but also exemplifies
its spirit. Its simply pure unadulterated rock. Another glaring success of
the album is the engaging 9th track "Take Me Out of the Rain".
NATIONAL BREAKOUT may not contain the ROMANTICS mega-hit "What I Like
About You", but don't tell your friends that before they put it in, and
they'll be so entertained that they won't even notice. My only regret about
this album is that I'll bet my brother had it ten years ago, and I never
dubbed it for free.
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